Youth participation and advocacy

How you can help shape youth cancer services, policy and research

 "Nothing about us, without us" 

two young women smiling

Youth participation is about young people having a genuine seat at the table when it comes to issues that affect their lives.

The Victorian Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Service recognises that young people are the most powerful advocates for their own needs. They deserve the right to: 

  • Play an active role in shaping the services they access
  • Influence policies and research priorities relevant to them

We support young people in a range of ways to use their voice and experience. This influences how we and other health services deliver care to young people and their families. 

How it works 

Our Youth Cancer Action Network (YCAN) is a diverse group of young people. They are united by a shared experience of cancer, and a desire to:  

  • Improve the experience for others  
  • Reduce the impacts of cancer and its treatment on young lives  

We empower and support Network members to take on roles as youth representatives. These roles may be formal or informal. Youth representatives provide advice and guidance on youth-related cancer programs and initiatives.  

The Network consists of two groups: 

  • The Youth Cancer Action Board (YCAB)  
  • The Youth Cancer Action Advocates (YCAA) 

Each offers different opportunities to help improve the experiences, services, and outcomes for young people with cancer, now and into the future. 

Victorian/Tasmanian Youth Cancer Action Board (YCAB) 

YCAB collage

YCAB is a 12-member board of young people who have had a diagnosis of cancer between the ages of 15 and 25 years. They provide advice and guidance to government and the broader health and community sectors.  

YCAB’s current vision and mission as determined by members is “To improve the lives of young people and their families who are affected by cancer.”  

YCAB advises on cancer policy, priorities and services affecting Victorian and Tasmanian youth. The board also raises AYA cancer awareness through presentations, media appearances and other opportunities.   

Appointments to the Board are made through a formal application and interview process. Membership requires a regular commitment of time. YCAB meets six times per year, online and in-person in the Youth Cancer Centre at Peter Mac in Melbourne. 


Victorian/Tasmanian Youth Cancer Action Advocates (YCAA)

YCAA logo

The YCAA is a broader network of young people who have experienced cancer between the ages of 15-25. Members may be up to 30 years of age.  

YCAA offers a more flexible approach to youth participation and advocacy work. Members receive a regular email newsletter and opt into projects or opportunities of interest. They may serve:

  • On committees, boards, working groups or panels 
  • As liaisons, advisors or team members on specific projects 
  • In other roles involving active dialogue with health professionals and decision-makers


Interested in getting involved? 

As part of the network, you will have the chance to:  

  • Make a difference in the lives of other AYA with cancer
  • Learn new skills  
  • Improve career opportunities  
  • Meet new people

Complete the registration form

Contact us via the link above if you’d like to be part of the Youth Cancer Action Network in some way. A member of our Youth Voice team will be in touch to discuss opportunities that fit your goals and interests. 

end of page image